(Topic ID: 73794)

My guide to making your own reproduction plastics.


By nandemoguy

7 years ago



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  • Latest reply 24 days ago by Chosen_S
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There are 163 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 4.
46
#1 7 years ago

I recently refurbished a Maverick the Movie pinball machine. Not exactly D.E.'s best seller so the machine is considered somewhat rare. Plastics were hard to find and $$$ so I came up with my own method to reproduce the plastics myself since I wasnt pleased with any of the methods I found online.

I figured I would share my method as the results turned out quite close to original, and graphics do not wash out with back lighting like the paper method does.

Take a look and let me know what you think by commenting on the vid.

#2 7 years ago

Very nice video! Thanks!

#3 7 years ago

Cool process!
Why need of vectoring the images, and not using the bit-mapped versions?

#4 7 years ago

Very cool!

#5 7 years ago

Strong

#6 7 years ago
Quoted from mima:

Cool process!
Why need of vectoring the images, and not using the bit-mapped versions?

For clarity really. You could probably use a bitmap or other format image but it would need to be very high resolution to not get a pixelated image when you print it out. With Vector images the lines will always be as clean as you can get them.

#7 7 years ago

Thanks for making a video. I need to get around to doing this. It's the camping out on illustrator for days part of it that dulls my enthusiasm. It does seem like you might be able to get away with a high resolution scan depending on your printer, but that wouldn't work very well for broken/damaged areas I suppose.

#8 7 years ago
Quoted from canea:

Thanks for making a video. I need to get around to doing this. It's the camping out on illustrator for days part of it that dulls my enthusiasm. It does seem like you might be able to get away with a high resolution scan depending on your printer, but that wouldn't work very well for broken/damaged areas I suppose.

You're not kidding man. I put in at least a good 20 hours over 4 days I'd say on recreating the artwork.
More popular tables have really good artwork available out there. Though the plastics sets are readily available too. Though not as cheap as doing it yourself.
I got enough materials to make a full set of plastics for probably 3 or 4 machines for less than 30 bucks.
Decal paper as shown - $12.00
Polycarbonate sheet (off size scrap from plastics shop) - $4.00

#9 7 years ago
Quoted from nandemoguy:

You're not kidding man. I put in at least a good 20 hours over 4 days I'd say on recreating the artwork.
More popular tables have really good artwork available out there. Though the plastics sets are readily available too. Though not as cheap as doing it yourself.
I got enough materials to make a full set of plastics for probably 3 or 4 machines for less than 30 bucks.
Decal paper as shown - $12.00
Polycarbonate sheet (off size scrap from plastics shop) - $4.00

Where to search for the "more popular tables vectorized artwork"?

#10 7 years ago

Subscribed.

#11 7 years ago
Quoted from mima:

Where to search for the "more popular tables vectorized artwork"?

It may sound funny, but a good place to check is vpforums.org. These guys recreate real machines in a virtual format and often times have done this work. if not in vector, they will have very high quality scans of full plastics sets included with the tables. And everything is free too so its a really good resource.
Aside from plastics you can often get high quality scans or vector art of playfields as well.

#12 7 years ago
Quoted from nandemoguy:

Decal paper as shown - $12.00

Have you got a make, parts number, price, manufacturer name etc for the transperant and white decal paper?
So one know what to look for

#13 7 years ago

Nice method and thanks for making the video nandemoguy.

mima, I use Papillio supplies paper, which is higher quality than you can typically find locally.

#14 7 years ago
Quoted from terryb:

Nice method and thanks for making the video nandemoguy.
mima, I use Papillio supplies paper, which is higher quality than you can typically find locally.

This for white? amazon.com link »

This for clear? amazon.com link »

#15 7 years ago
Quoted from mima:

Have you got a make, parts number, price, manufacturer name etc for the transperant and white decal paper?
So one know what to look for

To help out the forums use the links listed above.

For my video specifically though just for information..
The decal paper I got is from a webpage "www.robinseggcetera.com" they offer only white and clear but have inkjet and laser printer papers. only 1 thickness available here. Looks like price slightly increased since I bought. currently lists at US $7.75 for 5 sheets.

#16 7 years ago

Don't buy from Amazon, their stock can be super old and all stuck together. I know from experience.

Use these guys instead: http://www.decalpaper.com/default.asp

3 weeks later
#17 7 years ago

bump for anyone who might need this.

#18 7 years ago

Thanks for the bump or I would have missed this!!

#19 7 years ago

Ty for the bump. Nice work!

#20 7 years ago

I actually did this method about a week ago after I realized no clear glue would ever look right. You can skip the white layer and just spray white paint if the art goes to the edge, if you have a clear border than yes it's easier to just cut out a sheet of white decal paper. I learned the hard way that you don't want to cut the plastic after the decal has been applied, you will tear or separate the artwork quickly. This really does create beautiful plastic recreations if you know what you're doing.

#21 7 years ago

Great work!

Have you tried flame polishing the edges before applying the decals?

13
#22 7 years ago
Quoted from nandemoguy:

It may sound funny, but a good place to check is vpforums.org. These guys recreate real machines in a virtual format and often times have done this work. if not in vector, they will have very high quality scans of full plastics sets included with the tables. And everything is free too so its a really good resource.
Aside from plastics you can often get high quality scans or vector art of playfields as well.

Ok, I didn't want to say anything before I finish it but over the holidays I've been putting together a website to help the cause.

It's a website where users will be able to upload pinball assets such as playfield scans, digitized artwork, even modded artwork, etc, etc. It is organized by pinball machine(WOZ, TZ, etc), Asset type(playfield, cabinet, plastics art, etc.) and also by origin(high res scan, digitized, custom, etc.) and has a comments/rating system.

Since I started in the hobby I noticed it was a huge need, as it took me foreeeever to find a scan for my grand lizard restoration. I noticed everyone just links to forum posts, etc but there's no centralized place to look for stuff which currently makes it very hard to find anything.

I already have the pieces in place and have it up and running but having hosting issues that need to resolve first.

It will be up for beta soon to see if it catches up I'll keep you guys posted!

#23 7 years ago

Oh and btw nandemoguy, I like your method hope you are ok if I embed your video in the home page it's good stuff!

#24 7 years ago
Quoted from Jormungardian:

Ok, I didn't want to say anything before I finish it but over the holidays I've been putting together a website to help the cause.
It's a website where users will be able to upload pinball assets such as playfield scans, digitized artwork, even modded artwork, etc, etc. It is organized by pinball machine(WOZ, TZ, etc), Asset type(playfield, cabinet, plastics art, etc.) and also by origin(high res scan, digitized, custom, etc.) and has a comments/rating system.
Since I started in the hobby I noticed it was a huge need, as it took me foreeeever to find a scan for my grand lizard restoration. I noticed everyone just links to forum posts, etc but there's no centralized place to look for stuff which currently makes it very hard to find anything.
I already have the pieces in place and have it up and running but having hosting issues that need to resolve first.
It will be up for beta soon to see if it catches up I'll keep you guys posted!

I think that's a great idea! I wonder if there would be any copyright conflict. Would probably be small enough to fly under the radar anyway.

#25 7 years ago
Quoted from Jormungardian:

Ok, I didn't want to say anything before I finish it but over the holidays I've been putting together a website to help the cause.
It's a website where users will be able to upload pinball assets such as playfield scans, digitized artwork, even modded artwork, etc, etc. It is organized by pinball machine(WOZ, TZ, etc), Asset type(playfield, cabinet, plastics art, etc.) and also by origin(high res scan, digitized, custom, etc.) and has a comments/rating system.
Since I started in the hobby I noticed it was a huge need, as it took me foreeeever to find a scan for my grand lizard restoration. I noticed everyone just links to forum posts, etc but there's no centralized place to look for stuff which currently makes it very hard to find anything.
I already have the pieces in place and have it up and running but having hosting issues that need to resolve first.
It will be up for beta soon to see if it catches up I'll keep you guys posted!

I love this idea but I worry that the powers that be will force you to remove most of the content.

#26 7 years ago
Quoted from Jormungardian:

Ok, I didn't want to say anything before I finish it but over the holidays I've been putting together a website to help the cause.

Sounds great but don't be shocked if you get some takedown notices.

#27 7 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

I love this idea but I worry that the powers that be will force you to remove most of the content.

I'm hoping those powers realize I'm just trying to help the community also I'm not sure if I would be violating any copyrights, etc(I hope.. hehe) as I'm not selling anything, for this matter I would think it's the same thing to have a scanned playfield on my website and a picture I uploaded to facebook of my game room with my pinball.

And more importantly since my host doesn't really allow me to do a "file share" website I would initially need to have users host the actual files outside of my site and I would just link to them(I mean in the end many of this things are already there in vpforums etc etc). If the page kicks off and people are liking/using it I will start looking into a host that would let me host the files too.

#28 7 years ago

Sign up for a free email account using Tor.

Only check and use that email while in Tor.

Post all the files/manuals to the newsgroups (using Tor): alt.binaries.e-book.technical

The files will be archived forever, available to any hobbyist in need, worldwide .

https://www.torproject.org/

#29 7 years ago

Posting in this thread so I can find it later.

#30 7 years ago
Quoted from Renegade:

Would probably be small enough to fly under the radar anyway.

Balls of Steel was such a depository and was forced to close down years ago...http://www.ballsofsteel.net

Robert

#31 7 years ago
Quoted from Jormungardian:

Ok, I didn't want to say anything before I finish it but over the holidays I've been putting together a website to help the cause.

Quoted from Aurich:

Sounds great but don't be shocked if you get some takedown notices.

Yeah there used to be a big scan repository, but Wayne-O forced it to shut down by threatening legal action.

Bill

^^ beat me to it...that's the one I was talking about ^^

#32 7 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

Yeah there used to be a big scan repository, but Wayne-O forced it to shut down by threatening legal action.
Bill

Who is Wyane-o and why would he care about scans of our pinball machines?

#33 7 years ago

nice job. this is exactly how I always made my plastics too. works great and backlighting looks pretty good as well.

Wayno, used to be one of the B/W rights holders down in Aussie. Was a whole fiasco with him handing out C&D letters back in the day for parts, he didn't give a shit about and didn't have any intention of ever making. But handed them out because he could.

#34 7 years ago
Quoted from alb0711:

Who is Wyane-o and why would he care about scans of our pinball machines?

Former owner of the Bally/Williams licenses...before Planetary Pinball. Why? Greed.

#35 7 years ago

Here is a thread where Joe at Laserific will cut out the plastics for you if you don't have a scroll saw and access to plastic:

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/need-help-making-a-cad-file#post-1316836

He will only do clear plastic and no graphics. That is where this great technique comes in.

#36 7 years ago
Quoted from KingNine:

Here is a thread where Joe at Laserific will cut out the plastics for you if you don't have a scroll saw and access to plastic:
http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/need-help-making-a-cad-file#post-1316836
He will only do clear plastic and no graphics. That is where this great technique comes in.

There's a pretty inexpensive one at harbor freight but haven't actually used it so can't review it.. http://www.harborfreight.com/16-inch-variable-speed-scroll-saw-93012.html.

Now, the skills to use it can't be bought, thats why I haven't bought the saw neither hehe

#37 7 years ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

nice job. this is exactly how I always made my plastics too. works great and backlighting looks pretty good as well.
Wayno, used to be one of the B/W rights holders down in Aussie. Was a whole fiasco with him handing out C&D letters back in the day for parts, he didn't give a shit about and didn't have any intention of ever making. But handed them out because he could.

Sounds like Wayno was a big a-ho!

I tried to find the graphic scans on the internet archive, for those of you who want to see what ballsofsteel looked like in 2007 follow the link. It looks though like the graphics scan pages were built dynamically and never archived. I bet though they are somewhere out there.

https://web.archive.org/web/20070412050719/http://www.ballsofsteel.net/?

#38 7 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

Former owner of the Bally/Williams licenses...before Planetary Pinball. Why? Greed.

I wasn't around then and can't speak to the character of the fellow, but imo it's not greed when someone has spent their own money to acquire the rights to something in a gamble that someday it will be worth it. No one knew pinball would see this resurgence, that 10+ machines were planned for 2014, that new 'Williams' machines could potentially see the light of day once again. Every single thing happening in this industry right now today is exactly why a license holder will enforce their ownership even in a downturn.

From a hobbyist perspective yeah I want all this stuff for free or cheap, but in reality these works all belong to someone, and it's their perogative to either hold them as an investment, develop them as a product, or open them up as 'open source'. I would bet any one (or many) of a number of pinsiders could have acquired the Bally/Williams licenses for pinball assets back in the dark days for pennies on the dollar compared to right now, then you could have allowed the whole world free access to your new assets.

#39 7 years ago
Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

it's their perogative to either hold them as an investment, develop them as a product, or open them up as 'open source'

Yes.. and legally they should, and I agree with everything you've said. At the same time, you know the masses won't accept "well, it's copywrighted". Look at what happened when HBO said "No, we will not sell our channel ala carte even if you just want to watch game of thrones. 2013 most pirated show, game of thrones.

Personally, I am perfectly happy shelling out money to CPR, I've now bought a playfield, a new backglass, and new shuttle, and new ramp. I know I will get a quality part that is as close to the original (perhaps better). However, just like music, if there is something that is not available for sale, people will be resourceful and find a way to get it, legal or not.

There's also the archival aspect of all this, what happens if planetary pinball goes away, but the license is still floating around owned by someone unknown party? The biggest reason MAME came around was to archive all the classic arcade games in "some" form so that even if every arcade game vanished, we would have a copy of it and reproduced either in chip form, or emulated on a computer.

#40 7 years ago
Quoted from Jormungardian:

Ok, I didn't want to say anything before I finish it but over the holidays I've been putting together a website to help the cause.

I was thinking that it would be a wonderful thing if there was one site where we could dump all our playfield teardown pics for each machine. Would seriously reduce the "Crap - I forgot to take a picture of..." lament. Are you considering that as well? Would take up a lot of space I guess, but at least there shouldn't be any legal issues with that content...

Thanks and good luck!

#41 7 years ago

actually I was thinking on doing that on my site. for shop out guides for people. But since I don't get to restore my own games very often. I only have series of pictures for 2 games.

#42 7 years ago
Quoted from yonkiman:

I was thinking that it would be a wonderful thing if there was one site where we could dump all our playfield teardown pics for each machine.

I wouldn't mind hosting something like this.... If anyone wants to send me pics, shoot me a pm, and I will set up an ftp/site.

-Mike

#43 7 years ago

Great job.

#44 7 years ago

Added to favorite threads.

#45 7 years ago

Thanks everyone. Feel free to post or share the video wherever you like.

Jormungardian: good luck with your venture. I could see this service being quite valuable for the enthusiast/hobbyiest.

#46 7 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Great work!
Have you tried flame polishing the edges before applying the decals?

Damn, now you tell me

#47 7 years ago

Very nice, Will have to try this on my High hand's broken plastics.
I agree with Vid1900... I would finish up the edges before applying the decals.

#48 7 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Have you tried flame polishing the edges before applying the decals?

With high risc to expose my ignorance....

What is flame polishing?
Why do yo do that?
On what material?
What is the purpose?
What would the result be (compared to not doing what ever that is)?

#49 7 years ago

Never used polycarbonate before but if it can be routed, a way to get the plastics the exact size of the old would be with a trimmer and a flush trim router bit. (router with a bearing).

Cut out as per the method shown in the video, or any other way as it can be cut a lot rougher as long as it is bigger than the original.

Clamp the original piece under the new rough piece after lining them up as close as possible.

Get a trimmer (small router) and a flush trim router bit with bearing. locate the bit so the bearing is in line with the old and simply route around the piece. You will need to swap the clamps around or need multiple clamps.

flush trim router.jpg

There are smaller router bits than the one in the picture above.

I would flame polish the edges

Like I wrote above I am not sure if a router bit will cut polycarbonate cleanly but if it does you would be able to cut the plastics without a scroll saw as the router will make the accurate curves/sizes.

#50 7 years ago
Quoted from yonkiman:

I was thinking that it would be a wonderful thing if there was one site where we could dump all our playfield teardown pics for each machine.

Quoted from mikebetz42:

I wouldn't mind hosting something like this.... If anyone wants to send me pics, shoot me a pm, and I will set up an ftp/site.-Mike

Hi Mike,

I'll definitely put up all my Getaway and AFM pics (at least the ones I'm pretty sure are right - the previous owner(s) did some jury-rigging I don't want to contaminate the world with). But I think for this project to be a success (dozens or hundreds of people contributing their photos and even more benefiting), I think it has to have more visibility and easier accessibility than an FTP site. I've suggested this a feature request here:
http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/repository-of-teardown-photos-by-game#post-1365267

If anyone has any comments/suggestions, or if you just want to support the idea, please post there.

Cheers,
Fred

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